Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Concert In Stockholm

If you happen to be near Stockholm tomorrow night (October 28) you can hear "The Garden of Adumbrations" (an anecdotal soundscape for 8.1 speaker system) as part of .microsound10years. This concert celebrates the anniversary of the .microsound internet list. The venue is Fylkingen, Münchenbryggeriet, Stockholm. This centre for new music and intermedia art is celebrating their 75th anniversary, so it's two parties in one!
Monday, October 26, 2009

The Beatles Remasters: Choosing Favourites

In my last article I outlined the mastering history of The Beatles catalogue, culminating in the latest 2009 releases. Now I will recommend which of the versions (mono or stereo) you should buy to get the best impression of the music.

I should emphasise that George Martin and The Beatles preferred the mono versions up to and including Sgt. Pepper. They were explicit about this fact. The stereo mixes were made almost as an afterthought and sometimes contain different edits, takes and timings (due to tapes being played at slightly different speeds). I will not dwell on these differences here, as they have been long documented. (Though in a few cases they might jump out at me and require consideration.)

Now, on to a summary of the available versions of each album.
Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Beatles Remasters: Changing History

It cannot go unnoticed that the entire back catalogue of The Beatles has been remastered and re-issued for the first time in 22 years. Yes, I realise this happened on September 9th and I'm not exactly first with the news. But I have now digested all the different stereo and mono versions and have a thing or two to say about them. I am sure that all of these facts can be found elsewhere, but I hope by collecting them together I can make some new observations.

The Beatles released music on vinyl between 1963 and 1970. Supplementary delivery of the albums was on cassette tape, eight-track and reel-to-reel, following the vinyl masters. However, album and single releases were markedly different in the UK and the USA. Canada had further distinctly different albums as did Mexico, and likely other countries as well.